1st and 10 with DFF Week 12

1st and 10 with DFF Week 12 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

“1st and 10 with DFF” is a weekly segment of fantasy insights and a joint endeavor between the Dynasty Football Factory and Utter-Fantasy Football. We will canvass some of the hot button topics to keep us all informed on the ever-changing NFL landscape and which may carry major fantasy implications.

Michael Goins is the owner of Dynasty Football Factory, which is a website that you must visit daily, or you are missing out on great fantasy football, especially dynasty formatted fantasy football. Follow him on twitter @DynastyFFactory

On Monday afternoon, approximately 2:00 PM Central, I will post the latest segment in “1st & 10 with DFF.”  If you enjoy it, let us know. If you have any fantasy football questions for Michael, really let us know.

 

Week 12-  June 6th, 2016

Special Guest Writer-Dynasty Football Factory’s Michael Hughes for the new- “1st and 10 with DFF Week 10″.  Be sure to follow Michael on Twitter @thatshiftybloke

 

Utter-Fantasy #1) What were some surprises for you in the 2016 NFL Draft?

DFF Response: (#1) There were plenty of surprises throughout the draft, but Joey Bosa going number three overall really stood out to me. There were obviously many talented, top-tier prospects available and the Chargers decided that Bosa was the best fit for them at that spot. It signaled that Sam Diego is looking to retool and build its team from the line out, which is a traditional approach. I like Bosa as a d-lineman and believe he can definitely have an impact for the team, but I couldn’t have predicted that the Chargers would pass up offensive line help (a la Tunsil or Conklin). Either way, I’m excited to watch Bosa in SD. I was also surprised that Cory Coleman was the first of the high profile WRs selected, since most of the hype, especially early on, was focused on Laquon Treadwell. It sure looks like Cleveland has a plan in place for the direction it wants to move in.

 

Utter-Fantasy #2) People know me as the fantasy football guy and often invite me to participate in fantasy baseball leagues, fantasy basketball leagues, and even fantasy NASCAR leagues. Unfortunately I have too much on plate handling all my FF leagues, my fantasy football website and as commish of a couple of FF leagues to compete in any of them. Do you spar in fantasy sports other than football?

DFF Response: I play in a lot of dynasty fantasy football leagues which takes up a good amount of time and attention. I used to play in fantasy hockey leagues, but they disbanded. Those were a lot of fun and I had to employ a great deal of strategy to ensure I had enough goalie starts (and that I chose the highest scoring performances before exhausting the allowable starts). My first foray into fantasy sports was fantasy baseball, which was great but ultimately I couldn’t keep up with all that it entailed — so many games to track!

 

Utter-Fantasy #3) The NFL is moving the Pro Bowl to Orlando, Florida in hopes of building more interest in the event. In my opinion, the location isn’t the problem and I don’t know what the NFL can do to make this a game to watch, do you?

DFF Response: I agree with you. I don’t believe the venue is the reason the game has lost some of its luster. The other major sports play their all star games mid season, but that understandably doesn’t work for the NFL given the physical demands on the players. Personally I’m not a fan of the all star game winner getting a benefit in the season, such as in the MLB where the ASG winner gets home field advantage in the World Series. In my opinion, the Pro Bowl started to go downhill when players seemingly stopped taking it seriously. It seems that it has become more of a vacation than a football game. Perhaps the players on the winning team could receive even more prize money, but I don’t know that money is really the answer. Whatever the answer is, I sure hope the NFL finds it soon!

 

Utter-Fantasy #4) NFL players are already being paid a lot of money, so I am often stupefied when a player would rather sign with a bad team for great money, than stay with a good team for good money. Are you?

DFF Response: I can’t say that I’ll ever know what it’s like to make pro athlete money, so I don’t know if enough is ever enough. In that light, I can understand the athletes seeking to make as much as they can during their limited playing careers. However, we often hear about athletes who are willing to do anything to win a ring. Those competing interests don’t always jive, so players will likely have to choose: money or higher probability at a championship.

 

Utter-Fantasy #5) Is Derek Carr a better quarterback than David Carr was?

DFF Response: This is a great question and ties in the family component! I think that David Carr was thrust into a very difficult situation when he was drafted by the Texans in 2002 and was asked to become the face of the franchise. Coming out of school, the elder Carr was revered for his athleticism and pure talent. Ultimately, his pro career never really took off. The younger Derek Carr was not as highly regarded coming out of college and does not have the draft pedigree that his older brother had. However, his NFL situation is much better and I believe he is set up for more success than David. All in all, I do believe that Derek is better than David and the added pressure of being the top pick probably hurt David in this evaluation. One thing is for sure: that has got to be one heck of a family football game at Thanksgiving!

 

Utter-Fantasy #6)  In 2014, KC QB Alex Smith threw 0 TD passes to a wide receiver. In 2015, WR Jeremy Maclin surprised many by ending the season as the #16 wide out in the NFL, with 1000+ receiving yards and 8 touchdown receptions. Are those numbers achievable in 2016?

DFF Response: I do think that Jeremy Maclin’s numbers are replicable in 2016. Even though the offensive coordinator has departed, the head coach and the general offensive scheme remain. I think that continuity will only help Maclin’s cause this year. Alex Smith clearly has trust in his top receiver and that is a significant factor in receiving success. Another key factor is the roster in KC. Other than Maclin, there isn’t really a WR on the team that has stepped up, which means that Maclin will almost assuredly be the main option when a play is drawn up for a wide receiver. I think having a healthy Jamaal Charles and company in the backfield will also boost the passing game.

 

Utter-Fantasy #7) A couple of years ago in one of my fantasy football leagues, I lost 4 of my first 5 draft picks to season ending injuries by Week 2. Tell me some of your most memorable fantasy football casualties, how it effected your season and what you did to try to salvage your season.

DFF Response: I can tell you about one of my worst injury seasons in recent memory, and all of the injuries took place with the same team. Last season in one of my leagues I had Justin Forsett and Mark Ingram as my main RBs. Forsett broke his arm and Ingram missed the final few games of the year, so I was in a bad way heading into the playoffs. I had to slap together a running back corps in a hurry. Luckily I nabbed Buck Allen who had a few good games (PPR league) that helped me eek out some victories. I even relied on Alfred Blue for a game. At the end of the day, my plan B running back stable scored just enough points to keep me in each game and I won the league championship.

 

Utter-Fantasy #8) Which NFL team would struggle the most in 2016, if they lost their starting QB in the preseason……Miami, Atlanta or Detroit?

DFF Response: I believe that Atlanta would be most affected if the Falcons lost Matt Ryan. There isn’t another quarterback on the roster who could really step in and handle the offense if the top signal caller went down. That offense also relies heavily on accuracy in a heavy passing game. If you have Julio Jones, you had better be able to get him the ball! The running game which set the world on fire in 2015 would be snuffed out without an effective passing game. So, ultimately, a poor quarterback hurts Atlanta’s passing game and rushing game and they can ill afford to have that happen.

 

Utter-Fantasy #9) Last week I asked DFF for 2 pieces of advice that a fantasy football owner should absolutely know, if starting in a Dynasty League for the first time in 2016. Your response was…First and foremost – and this is a bit of a gimme – do not draft a QB early. I am currently in a 32 team “Dynasty Fantasy Football League’ draft and we may only draft one quarterback. I selected my QB in the 2nd round. Although we did not specify the number of teams in any “Dynasty league” question, I went against your advice. Was this a bad move?

DFF Response: I don’t believe it was a bad move at all. You always have to draft the team you want to root for, the team that will make you happiest; and that doesn’t always conform to one strategy or another. At best, fantasy football advice is aspirational – we speculate about the best options and the most effective players in trying to put together the winning team now and in the future. Here, with a 32-team league, it’s critical to get impact players that you can rely on as staples in your lineup. With all drafts, it’s key to not miss on your first few picks. This is a great opportunity to remind readers that draft strategies are not one size fits all, and each league may have separate and distinct settings like scoring rules and roster sizes. You have to evaluate each one and determine which theories and approaches work best for your league. Let us know how the draft turns out!

 

Utter-Fantasy #10) What year did you draft your first fantasy football team, what format was the league and how did that season go? Were you invited by friends to join an existing league?

DFF Response: I drafted my first fantasy football team in 2005. It was a redraft league with PPR scoring. My father and I were asked to join a league so we co-managed the team that year. Although we drafted some very successful players, we fell short and  didn’t win the championship that year.

Next week Utter-Fantasy will have 10 new questions for the Dynasty Football Factory

1ST AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 11
1ST AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 10
1st AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 9
1st AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 8
1ST AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 7
1st and 10 with DFF Week 6
1st and 10 with DFF Week 5
1st AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 4
1st and 10 with DFF Week 3
1st and 10 with DFF Week 2
1st and 10 with DFF Week 1

1st and 10 with DFF Week 11

1st and 10 with DFF Week 11 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

“1st and 10 with DFF” is a weekly segment of fantasy insights and a joint endeavor between the Dynasty Football Factory and Utter-Fantasy Football. We will canvass some of the hot button topics to keep us all informed on the ever-changing NFL landscape and which may carry major fantasy implications.

Michael Goins is the owner of Dynasty Football Factory, which is a website that you must visit daily, or you are missing out on great fantasy football, especially dynasty formatted fantasy football. Follow him on twitter @DynastyFFactory

On Monday afternoon, approximately 2:00 PM Central, I will post the latest segment in “1st & 10 with DFF.”  If you enjoy it, let us know. If you have any fantasy football questions for Michael, really let us know.

 

Week 11-  May 30th, 2016

Special Guest Writer-Dynasty Football Factory’s Michael Hughes for the new- “1st and 10 with DFF Week 10″.  Be sure to follow Michael on Twitter @thatshiftybloke

 

Utter-Fantasy #1) Give me two pieces of advice that a fantasy football owner should absolutely know, if starting in a Dynasty League for the first time in 2016.

DFF Response: (#1) First and foremost – and this is a bit of a gimme – do not draft a QB early (i.e., within the first 5 rounds). Let someone else take Andrew Luck, Cam Newton, and/or Aaron Rodgers with a top-3 round pick. For every QB that gets drafted too early, that’s one more elite talent WR or RB that falls to you in later rounds. Quarterbacks like Eli, Romo, Rivers, and even Carr, can be had in the double digit rounds. By drafting skill position players with your first 8-10 picks, you give yourself the best opportunity to amass startable talent. Disclaimer: if you are in a 2QB/Superflex league, you can take a QB a little earlier.

(#2) Never, ever, under any circumstances, draft to “fill your starting lineup” before taking depth at a position. You have to make sure you are drafting the best players each and every time you are on the clock. The quickest way to ruin a team is to draft your starting tight end before you take your third wide receiver. Similar to the “best player available” strategy in rookie drafts, you need to be sure and draft the best skill player on the board. Depth is the key to a victorious team. (#3) BONUS: In dynasty leagues, strategy is different than what you may have seen in redraft leagues. For instance, you do not worry about bye weeks in dynasty leagues (after all, in dynasty you play for years and years – and bye weeks change every year). You’ll want to make sure you look at the big picture in dynasty leagues.

Utter-Fantasy #2) Only 6 wide receivers in 2015, had more touchdown receptions than CAR Ted Ginn Jr did, and he finished the season as the #18 wide out in the NFL. Fantasy football owners are very excited about the return of WR Kelvin Benjamin and understandably so. (In his rookie 2014 season, Benjamin had 1008 receiving yards and 9 TDs.) With TE Greg Olsen always a huge weapon in the Panther offense, is there any room for 2015- 2nd rounder WR Devin Funchess in their receiving corps?

DFF Response: I actually think there is room for Funchess, but no room for Ginn. I believe that Ted Ginn’s production in 2015 was solely due to opportunity – with Benjamin out, and Funchess having not emerged as a viable threat yet, Greg Olsen was the only real receiving threat the Panthers had. The Carolina offense was force-feeding Ginn the ball; and that likely will not happen in 2016. The target hierarchy goes: KB, Olsen, Funchess, then the rest, in my opinion. Don’t forget that Ted Ginn had a multitude of dropped passes (most, while he was not even covered by a defender). I firmly believe Ginn is not an elite WR. I would fade Ginn on your fantasy teams this year and buy into Devin Funchess, who clearly has the size and isn’t as much of a target squanderer. Funchess also has draft pedigree. I’m on board with Funchess in 2016.

Utter-Fantasy #3) In 2015, I warned fantasy football owners about drafting CAR RB Jonathon Stewart based on his injury history, QB Cam Newton’s running abilities especially near the goal line and the draft selection of RB Cameron Artis-Payne ( Round 5 of the 2015 NFL Draft.) I thought his ceiling would be close to his 2014 statistics of 812 rushing yards and 3 rushing TDs. Stewart was far better than I expected in 2015, with over 100 total yards and 7 total TDs. My concerns in 2016 however, are the same that they were in 2015, and I am going to double-down on my warning and those 2014 ceiling statistics. Do you think this is good or bad advice?

DFF Response: I believe that your advice is sound: steer clear of Jonathan Stewart this season. Stewart is a year older (again), and he’s entering an offense that is finally healthy. I don’t believe that Cameron Artis-Payne is the heir apparent, or a threat, but we have seen Carolina employ a slew of running backs to spell Stewart. Stewart may put up decent touchdown numbers, even though it isn’t something you can necessary predict, but I do not see him as a viable RB1 this year. Spend your money elsewhere.

Utter-Fantasy #4) DAL QB Tony Romo has made a lot of progress and has been throwing for the last month without issue. I don’t care. I think it’s inevitable that Romo will be injured again, early on, and hurt every fantasy football owner who drafts Dallas players ( except for RB Ezekiel Elliott, I think he’ll have a strong season regardless.)  When owners draft WR Dez Bryant, QB Romo and TE Witten early, I will silently be saying “thank you”. What will you be saying?

DFF Response: I’ll say what I always say: Pass! I have never been a believer in Dez Bryant, so I don’t look to draft him to begin with, especially where I would need to take him in drafts. He’s a good talent, but there are many other top talent receivers that I would rather have for the same price. As for Witten, he is a reliable tight end but he’s getting older and I believe that Dallas is looking to incorporate Gavin Escobar a lot more than they previously had. If Witten falls to me with one of my last picks in a draft, I’m interested; but only at that price. Tony Romo has been injury prone, for sure, but I’m still interested in the undrafted gunslinger. If I can select Romo later in the draft, I would be happy to do so. It’s a long shot that he’ll stay healthy, but I would rather be the Romo owner during the year that he remains healthy. I believe with the weapons around him, he is a sleeper (for the right price).

Utter-Fantasy #5) There is talk of the Dolphins having interest in free-agent RB Arian Foster. If Foaster ends up signing with Miami, and is somehow healthy for the start of the season, what’s your percentage that he ends up with the bulk of the carries for the Dolphins in 2016?

DFF Response: I don’t think Foster will carry the bulk of the load with any NFL team. If he signs in Miami, I believe he will be a 1 to 2 down back, working to spell RB Jay Ajayi who Miami is clearly looking to support. By drafting RB Kenyan Drake out of Alabama, I think Miami is sending a message that it has the future Dolphins running back(s) on the roster. Arian Foster will be a part-time RB if he signs in Miami, so I would pay a commensurate price for him. Do not overspend here!

Utter-Fantasy #6) ESPN believes Green Bay WR Jeff Janis is one of the “losers” of the offseason. Janis had a 7-145-2 game stat line from the Divisional Round in the 2015 playoffs, and HC McCarthy took some heat for not playing this man earlier in the season. WR Davante Adams is a constant disappointment and many don’t even consider his roster spot as a “sure thing”.  I believe fantasy owners will be kicking themselves if they do not draft Janis? Will you be recommending Janis?

DFF Response: I am not recommending Janis this year. Jordy Nelson is returning to a WR corps that has plenty of options for Aaron Rodgers. What concerns me with Janis is clearly the depth chart and glut of receivers in GB. Nelson and Cobb will occupy the top two spots, and then GB has Davante Adams, Jeff Janis, and Ty Montgomery, not to mention TE Jared Cook who stands to gain a lot of targets this year. Janis did flash some skill in that playoff game in 2015, but I do not know if the coaching staff will give him a fair amount of playing time and targets.

Utter-Fantasy #7) I hate the no group celebration rule and penalty for doing so, after a touchdown. Who would know Ickey Woods if not for the “Ickey Woods Shuffle?” I understand keeping sportsmanship in the game, but I think the Washington “Fun Bunch” celebration and the Ram’s “Bob’N Weave” added fun to the NFL, not unsportsmanlike conduct, don’t you?  ( DISCLAIMER: Never cared for the Atlanta “Dirty Bird” !)

DFF Response: I understand there has been a movement to eliminate the unsportsmanlike actions by players, but I think there needs to be some visible fun in the big plays. After all, this is a game. I would like to see the league move to allow for those group celebrations again. Even soccer does it…

Utter-Fantasy #8) Former Panther DB Josh Norman was one of the league’s best players in 2015, and Carolina probably could have resigned him but didn’t. Was this only about money, or do you think his personality AND particularly the altercations with WR Odell Beckham Jr in Week 15 last year could have played a big role in rescinded Norman’s franchise tag, making him a free agent?

DFF Response: I think it was about money. If Norman had accepted the offer that Carolina made, I do not believe we would be having this conversation about Norman’s proclivity toward the bombastic. Even during the Odell Beckham saga, Norman’s actions were downplayed by the team. As more information emerges from the fallout between Norman and the Panthers, it is pretty clear that Carolina’s management drew a line in the sand as it pertained to money and realized that they would be overspending via franchise tag and would have to significantly over pay to keep their stud DB. Carolina decided what it wanted to pay, and there was no wavering.

Utter-Fantasy #9) Some NFL players are known to be very superstitious. Some might listen to the same song every week, eat the same food before games or wear the same pair of socks over and over. Fantasy football owners can be just as superstitious. Do you have any draft day or game day rituals that we can tease you about later?

DFF Response: I usually watch NFL Redzone, which plays most of the high points of the games. But I have a serious suspicion about changing the channel when things are going well. I feel that once things are rolling I absolutely cannot change the channel because it will disrupt the good vibes and fantasy production. I also usually rock a Vikings jersey under all circumstances; hasn’t done much for Minny, but it sure has helped my fantasy squads!

Utter-Fantasy #10) Are you familiar with fantasy football insurance? Here’s one company’s pitch….”Protect your fantasy investment with fantasy football insurance”….then they add….”A serious injury, such as a concussion, can mean the end to a star player’s time on the field – and if that player is the star of your fantasy football team, then your season might be over too.” A great idea, or too absurd to catch on?

DFF Response: I can admit that I’ve never heard of fantasy football insurance. I actually think the idea is somewhat defeating – the point of fantasy football is to take chances and capitalize on the wealth of knowledge you have. Injuries obviously play a role in the NFL and, thus, in fantasy, and because of that you have certain opportunities that would not otherwise arise: you can buy low on injured players, for example, or you can beat a better team because its star player is hurt and can’t produce. Injuries, therefore, are just part of the game. I think that by using insurance, you are taking the fun out of the game. The highs and lows have to be left alone – you win some, you lose some! Remember not to take fantasy sports too seriously; it’s fantasy, after all!

Next week Utter-Fantasy will have 10 new questions for the Dynasty Football Factory

1ST AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 10
1st AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 9
1st AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 8
1ST AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 7
1st and 10 with DFF Week 6
1st and 10 with DFF Week 5
1st AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 4
1st and 10 with DFF Week 3
1st and 10 with DFF Week 2
1st and 10 with DFF Week 1

1st and 10 with DFF Week 10

1st and 10 with DFF Week 10 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

 

“1st and 10 with DFF” is a weekly segment of fantasy insights and a joint endeavor between the Dynasty Football Factory and Utter-Fantasy Football. We will canvass some of the hot button topics to keep us all informed on the ever-changing NFL landscape and which may carry major fantasy implications.

Michael Goins is the owner of Dynasty Football Factory, which is a website that you must visit daily, or you are missing out on great fantasy football, especially dynasty formatted fantasy football. Follow him on twitter @DynastyFFactory

 

On Monday afternoon, approximately 2:00 PM Central, I will post the latest segment in “1st & 10 with DFF.”  If you enjoy it, let us know. If you have any fantasy football questions for Michael, really let us know.

 

Week 10-  May 23rd, 2016

Special Guest Writer-Dynasty Football Factory’s Michael Hughes for the new- “1st and 10 with DFF Week 10″.  Be sure to follow Michael on Twitter @thatshiftybloke

 

Utter-Fantasy #1) 1) PHIL QB Sam Bradford- FACT: If Bradford plays poorly, he will be yanked early in this season and it will be Wentz’s team going forward.

FACT or FICTION? : If Bradford plays well, and if Philadelphia is winning games, Wentz will not be the starter in 2016, despite being the #2 overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft (and no matter how much the fans clamor for him.)

DFF Response) (A) Fact. The Eagles made a splash at the draft, trading up (twice) to ultimately nab the 2nd overall pick with the obvious and apparent intention of drafting the franchise’s quarterback of the future. GM Howie Roseman and others in the organization made that pretty clear in press conferences and statements all throughout the pre-draft and post-draft process. What is confusing to some is the fact that the team made a couple of plant-your-flag moves with three different QBs this offseason: signing Bradford to a lucrative extension; paying up big for what we expect to be backup QB Chase Daniel (who played for head coach Doug Pederson in Kansas City); and moving up big time in the draft to select Carson Wentz out of NDSU. It seems clear that the team is looking to solidify the position and back their guy. In this instance, with so much spent to move up to #2 in the draft, I think it is safe to say that Wentz is the clear cut favorite. If Bradford struggles this season – even for a little bit – you will see Carson Wentz for the duration of the year.

(B) I believe that Bradford has to play lights out to keep his job. Reading between the lines and dissecting the coach speak, it’s clear that the Eagles are no longer enamored with the Oklahoma product; they’re ready to move on. Bradford was the best of a bad lot when they traded for him; signed him; and signed him to an extension. Philly did not know or believe it would be able to trade up and select their future starter, so they had to shore up the position when Bradford was available. Look for that to change. If Bradford plays well enough for the team to win games consistently, he will keep his job. I expect to see Wentz in 2016.

 

Utter-Fantasy #2)    Between 2009 and 2013, 12 quarterbacks total were selected in the 1st round of the NFL draft. To date, 7 are complete busts, 2 are struggling to stay in the NFL and only 3 are successful starting quarterbacks. In 2014, 2015 and 2016, 7 quarterbacks total were selected in the 1st round of the NFL draft. If Goff and Wentz go onto be as successful as Winston and Mariota, as expected, only Manziel will have failed to thrive at the NFL level. Do you think drafting a quarterback in the 1st round has become less of a gamble than if was between 2009 and 2013?

DFF Response) I think drafting anyone in the first round is a gamble. I say that, because first round draft picks – all first round draft picks –  are supposed to be sure things. NFL franchises are expected to have “gimme” selections that early in the draft. But unfortunately the pressure is very real when you are expected to select a no-brainer / can’t-miss prospect. That being said, I’m sure the Chargers will attest to how difficult the first round can be (see Ryan Leaf, number 2 overall, 1998 NFL draft). Thus, it is always a gamble. I know that scouting has gotten much better over the years and in fact there is an entire lucrative business to the draft, from trainers and agents, to merchandise and branding. As a Viking fan, I can tell you that Christian Ponder was as much of a gamble as any pick I’ve seen my team make in the last couple of years. The Vikings took him at 12 overall in 2011 and I was never confident that it was a great move, even if it was necessary for the team to do so. It would be flawed logic to say that the picks are less of a gamble now just because the prospects are hitting at a higher rate. If anything, it is a testament to the prospects themselves and the coaching regimes that are drafting them.

 

Utter-Fantasy #3)  ESPN projects Cleveland and San Francisco to only win 3 games in 2016, and Miami to only win 4 games. I’m on board with their projections for the Browns and the 49ers, but I believe the Dolphins will win at least 6 games. What are your thoughts on all 3 teams?

DFF Response) The Browns are in rebuild mode, but they’re starting the rebuild on a positive note having just amassed a lot of draft capital by trading back in the first round. I think they’ve done themselves a great service by hiring Hue Jackson and I expect the team to make waves in a few years. San Francisco is going in the other direction. I do not believe the Chip Kelly experiment will work in SF because I don’t believe they currently have the personnel that Kelly wants/needs to succeed, and it all starts at QB. Expect them to be mediocre for a while. Miami is in a different boat; I actually like their head coach hiring. Adam Gase will come in and build upon an offense that had success at times last year. I believe Miami wins more than 3 games this year, but I do not believe they make the playoffs. Expect the offense to run smoothly, but the defense will be the linchpin. The defense has to fire on all cylinders; they are paid too much not to. If the defense can play well and avoid the colossal meltdowns of 2015, then Miami will be able to win more than a few games.

 

Utter-Fantasy #4)  With RB DeMarco Murray out of town, Ryan Matthews is a huge sleeper for me in 2016, that few people are currently talking about. Am I right to be excited about his fantasy potential this season or is his current ADP ( #59th overall-#24 RB) where it should be?

DFF Response)  You’re absolutely right to be excited about Ryan Matthews in 2016. If you look at running backs under Doug Pederson in the past (I’m looking at you, all three KC Chiefs’ backs), it is clear that Pederson knows how to deploy running backs. Scheme and coaching says Matthews will succeed, but that’s not all. There is very little competition at the RB position in Philly this year. Darren Sproles will occupy the same role he always has, and that will not eat into Matthews’ carries. Kenjon Barner and Wendell Smallwood will both be given an opportunity to see the field, but they’re too green to come in and steal snaps from an established back like Matthews. All fantasy players should be looking to acquire Ryan Matthews in 2016.

 

Utter-Fantasy #5)  In most 2015 redraft leagues, QB Andrew Luck was the first quarterback selected and he clobbered fantasy football owners, playing in only 7 games. Luck declared himself fully healthy last month, and Indianapolis drafted 4 offensive linemen to protect him. He won’t be the #1 quarterback selected in 2016, but where is he in your current QB redraft rankings? Who would you recommend drafting as your QB, before drafting Luck?

DFF Response) I still have Luck in the top 3. For me, it goes Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers, and then Andrew Luck. I watched Luck in college and in the pros for the past few years, so I know what he is capable of doing. Too many fantasy players are scared off by what happened last year. Don’t let that recency bias manipulate your game plan. Remember the pedigree for Luck, and remember that he has as much natural talent as any QB in this league. He was injured last year and that resulted in a poor season, but that won’t happen every year. As always, the QB position is devalued somewhat in fantasy because there are many viable options on a weekly basis. If you do decide to draft a QB earlier than others, Luck is a fine option. Oh, did I mention that Indy beefed up its offensive line? Sign me up for Luck this year.

 

Utter-Fantasy #6) You’re a Dynasty league guy…I recent saw a dynasty league team owner offer THREE 1st round picks for the 2016 rookie 1.01 draft selection and was turned down. One owner obviously wants DAL RB Zeke Elliott very much, and the other owner will get him and won’t give him up. Who’s crazy here…..the guy offering THREE 1st round picks or the guy who turned him down?!

DFF Response) I think they’re both sane. Ezekiel Elliot is a rare bird; he has all of the God-given talent that you could ever, literally ever, ask someone to have. He also landed in the consensus top spot for running backs. It’s a match made in fantasy football heaven. The allure of dynasty fantasy football is that you can keep a player for their entire career if you so choose. Running backs are brittle, and last year demonstrated just how quickly you could lose your grip on that position if your guys get injured. Because of these truths, getting a stud young RB like Elliott or Todd Gurley is a slam dunk success. Thus, trading the world to go get Zeke is totally sane. So, too, is trading away the 1.01 for a complete windfall. Both sides are right – and both sides would be enriched by such a deal. I myself had two 1.01’s in the 2016 rookie drafts in different leagues. I traded one for AJ Green because I value him very highly in an offense with little competition for targets – and it is a start one RB league, so running backs are devalued even more. In another league where I am in full re-build mode for an orphan team I took over in 2015, I moved the 1.01 and Dorial Green-Beckham for Amari Cooper. I am confident that the trades will ultimately help all teams involved. In my two deals, I got top-tier wide receivers in point-per-reception (“PPR”) leagues; similarly, the other teams got the draft capital necessary to select one of the best running back prospects since Adrian Peterson. I call that mutually beneficial!

 

Utter-Fantasy #7) In current 10 team mock drafts, BUFF WR Sammy Watkins has overall been the 13th wide receiver selected, in front of such names as Demaryius Thomas, Brandon Marshall, Randall Cobb, and TY Hilton. With all things considered, including recent foot surgery, is that too early for the Bill’s wide out?

DFF Response) I will preface this response by saying that Sammy Watkins is my man-crush. I try to acquire him in every single dynasty league I play in; he’s just that good to me. Naturally, with that backdrop, I will tell you that Watkins is every bit as valuable as the other names mentioned. I also understand that there is a big picture to account for. My advice is thus: if you are in a redraft league, you should pump the brakes on Watkins this year and not overspend for him. Remember that he is in a sub-par offensive scheme for wide receivers and he has a starting QB in Tyrod Taylor that may or may not keep his job. Sammy also just broke his foot and there are many questions surrounding his health and whether he will be back in time – oh, and don’t forget his history of foot and hip problems. If you are drafting for a one-year team as is the case in redraft leagues, then you should not select Watkins over guys like Demaryius Thomas. DT has already proven himself to be quarterback proof and reliable. However, if you are drafting in a dynasty league start up, then please feel free to take Watkins in the top 8 picks and feel great about doing so. All you need to do is look at his scouting tape and any of the many highlight reel catches he’s made. That will show you how valuable Watkins is and will continue to be. In conclusion: I love Watkins. If others in my leagues don’t want him, I will certainly scoop him up.

 

Utter-Fantasy #8)  A few of my disappointing fantasy football players from 2015 include Eddie Lacy, Melvin Gordon, Randall Cobb, Mike Evans ( 1208 receiving yards but only 3 TDs), QB Teddy Bridgewater, TE Jordan Cameron and Ladarius Green. Who else should be on my list?

DFF Response) Don’t forget to add Andrew Luck (see above) for his injury riddled lost 2015 campaign. I also throw DeMarco Murray on the pile here. Murray was the best running back in the league two years ago and then last year completely fell asleep at the wheel of his offensive production. Chip Kelly’s coaching and offensive scheme did not help Murray at all, but even when he was given chances to succeed he completely missed the mark. He owes me a lot of touchdowns this year.

 

Utter-Fantasy #9) The 49ers locker room bought into QB Blaine Gabbert at the end of the 2015, as he led them to 3 wins in their last 8 games. QB Colin Kaepernick stirred the pot early in 2016 by requesting out of San Francisco. Even if “Kaep” gets an attitude adjustment and plays better than Gabbert in training camp …….can this ever really be “his” team again?

DFF Response) No, I don’t believe it can be Kaep’s team again. Chip Kelly essentially guaranteed as much when he publicly spoke out in favor of Gabbert. Kelly has a history of poor professional player relations: you can ask most of the guys on the 2015 Philadelphia Eagles about that. Kelly has recently begun to mend the fences with Kaepernick, but I think that is more going through the motions than genuine desire to having a working relationship with the (former) starting QB. Kaep wants out, Kelly wants Kaep out, and most people in the Niners’ building want a new start, so look for Kaepernick to ride the pine this year, or ultimately make an exit from San Fran soon.

 

Utter-Fantasy #10) Give me a brief comment on each of these tight end moves to a new team in 2016.……

• A) Ben Watson to Baltimore-

• B) Jared Cook to Green Bay-

• C) Ladarius Green to Pittsburgh-

• D) Coby Fleener to New Orleans-

DFF Response) A) Ben Watson seemed like the ageless wonder last year when he made the league’s most resounding comeback in a Drew Brees-led offense. Watson’s numbers were gaudy in 2015 and he single-handedly won fantasy weeks for many people. I expect that his production will decidedly drop off in 2016. Let’s look at the factors: different QB, different offensive system, many more receiving threats/weapons/options than the Saints had; and there is the little matter of the future of TE Maxx Williams, on whom the Ravens spent significant draft capital last year. Sell now on Watson, if you still can.

(B) Jared Cook will likely have the best season of his career in GB; that’s not saying much considering Cook couldn’t definitively hold on to the top TE spot in St. Louis/LA where his competition was Lance Kendricks. I mean, come on. Aaron Rodgers likes using his TEs, but hasn’t been able to lately because of the poor play of that group. I think Cook will be a reliable option for Rodgers and I would look to acquire him if the price isn’t too steep.

(C) Ladarius Green landed in the ideal spot for an emerging TE. Pittsburgh will look to use Green in much the same way they used Heath Miller for so many years. That alone bodes very well for Green. Besides, Green is very athletically gifted and he will be spirited to be out from under the shadows of Antonio Gates. The price for Green has skyrocketed, so I don’t think it’s a smart buy at this point in time because the asking price is way too high. However, if you have him then congratulations – you’re about to step in to TE1 territory.

(D) Coby Fleener was Andrew Luck’s roommate in college and presumably one of the QB’s best friends on the team. And Fleener still stunk up the joint. I know, I know: Fleener had to contend with Dwayne Allen in Indy, too. That’s fair, but I don’t think he is an elite tight end. I am not a Fleener truther and I don’t believe in his talent. I do, however, believe in his new landing spot. Brees loves the TE (see Ben Watson, two paragraphs above). Fleener is a sleeper this year based solely on the anticipated number of red zone targets he will likely receive this year. Good luck!

 

Next week Utter-Fantasy will have 10 new questions for the Dynasty Football Factory

1st AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 9
1st AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 8
1ST AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 7
1st and 10 with DFF Week 6
1st and 10 with DFF Week 5
1st AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 4
1st and 10 with DFF Week 3
1st and 10 with DFF Week 2
1st and 10 with DFF Week 1

1st and 10 with DFF Week 9

1st and 10 with DFF Week 9 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

 

“1st and 10 with DFF” is a weekly segment of fantasy insights and a joint endeavor between the Dynasty Football Factory and Utter-Fantasy Football. We will canvass some of the hot button topics to keep us all informed on the ever-changing NFL landscape and which may carry major fantasy implications.

Michael Goins is the owner of Dynasty Football Factory, which is a website that you must visit daily, or you are missing out on great fantasy football, especially dynasty formatted fantasy football. Follow him on twitter @DynastyFFactory

 

On Monday afternoon, approximately 2:00 PM Central, I will post the latest segment in “1st & 10 with DFF.”  If you enjoy it, let us know. If you have any fantasy football questions for Michael, really let us know.

 

Week 9-  May 16th, 2016

Special Guest Writer-Dynasty Football Factory’s Michael Hughes. Be sure to follow Michael on Twitter @thatshiftybloke

 

Utter-Fantasy #1) Because WR DeSean Jackson hasn’t played a 16 game season since joining Washington, and WR Pierre Garcon is 30 years old this year, can first-round WR Josh Doctson become the #1 receiver for QB Kirk Cousins this season?

DFF Response) DeSean Jackson was a perennial WR1 once he gained his footing in Philadelphia, despite the criticism that he was only a “home-run hitter,” a receiver that excels on deep passing routes and has little to no other relevance in the offense. Since joining Washington, he has been much more of the traditional deep-ball threat. As noted, he has also been plagued by the injury bug. Pierre Garcon’s yearly statistics have declined since his breakout year in 2013 in the Nation’s Capital. The perception on Garcon is that his abilities are dwindling due to age, fatigue, etc. The reality is that Garcon has occupied the same space on the teams he’s played for: he is a reliable WR with veteran prowess, which makes him the ideal target for his quarterback during crunch time, while running the two-minute offense, or trying to convert a 3rd and short. DJax and Garcon will in all likelihood continue to garner a decent number of targets in 2016. QB Kirk Cousins is looking for another prolific offensive year in order to cash in with a lucrative, long-term contract. That last note bodes well for Doctson, who will be thrust into the offense as a wiry WR with skills, above average hands and footwork, and lots of size. As we’ve seen in the traditional Jay Gruden offense, the WR1 is typically drowning in targets, receptions, and opportunities to make big plays (see: AJ Green, 2012-2013). Doctson has draft pedigree, having been selected 22nd overall by Washington in this year’s draft. Gruden obviously likes what he’s seen from the 6’2”, 202-pound product from TCU. The stars are aligned for Josh Doctson to come into camp, solidify his position within the offense as a large bodied wideout with good hands, and make a real name for himself early in the ‘Skins offense. I like Doctson’s chances to finish 2016 as the #1 receiver in Washington.

 

Utter-Fantasy #2)    As an owner of at least one Dynasty League team, did you have any of your players’ fantasy stock get clobbered by an NFL team’s draft selection in 2016? ( If not, you must know someone who did?)

DFF Response) The three-headed monster of Alfred Morris, Darren McFadden, and Lance Dunbar all took a collective hit with the Cowboys’ selection of Ezekiel Elliott from Ohio State at number four overall. Many dynasty owners were holding on to McFadden by a thread, recognizing that he has an injury-riddled past and that he is getting up there in age. Last year’s performance warranted keeping McFadden on your bench and many owners did just that, hoping to eke out one more year of fantasy production. Unfortunately for McFadden owners, Easy E is now in the Big D and will spell certain doom for McFadden’s fantasy output. Similarly, Alfred Morris owners were invigorated by the fact that a now older, veteran back with questionable catching ability had landed on a team with a great run-blocking offensive line. The shine on Morris was buffed out almost immediately, as the team drafted college’s top running back. Lance Dunbar – had you forgotten about him? – was also in position to be Dallas’ top pass-catching back. He had demonstrated a penchant for catching passes out of the backfield in previous years and it seemed logical that he would slide right back into that role. At present, it seems that Dallas is committed to Elliott and will give the Buckeye product the lion’s share of the carries and, likely, the majority of passes, too. If you own any of the other Dallas RBs, you’re likely going to have some dead roster weight this upcoming season.

 

Utter-Fantasy #3)  Who is going to win the NFC East Division and why?

DFF Response) As of May 2016, my money is on Dallas to win the NFC East. Forget what you know about the 2015 Cowboys and think back to the Cowboys teams of 2013 and 2014. Last year was an anomaly; Dez Bryant was injured for most of the year and Tony Romo couldn’t stay on the field, either. Going into next season, Dallas has its top offensive weapons available and healthy – and as mentioned above, they’ve added a top-tier running back to play behind the league’s scariest O-line. If their defense can avoid a total meltdown week in and week out, the team can make some noise. By exclusion, if you look at New York, Philly, and Washington, you see some shortcomings that may derail those teams’ seasons. Philly is going to adapt to a new head coach, a muddied quarterback room, and many new faces. Pragmatically speaking, there is much more than just X’s and O’s to digest in Philadelphia, and I believe that will ultimately keep them from winning the division. Not too dissimilarly, the Giants will be directed by first-time head coach Ben McAdoo this year. Although McAdoo is not a new face to the organization, it will be the first time that the former NYG O-Coordinator will be calling all of the shots. Add to that the uncertainty on defense, and there is just enough fuel to flame the fires of doubt for the G-Men. Finally, Washington, the defending NFC East champions, will seek to win their second straight division title. Unfortunately, I do not see the absolutely eye-popping numbers for QB Kirk Cousins continuing this year. Cousins is a good QB and he will be just fine, but he won’t blow the doors off the arena each week like he did during the tail-end of the 2015 season. Running back Matt Jones will need to step-up and convince the league that he can carry the load for a team that seeks to run the ball a decent amount. All in all, I believe Washington falls just shy of its goal of repeating as champs.

 

Utter-Fantasy #4)  How do you see the saga with QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets ultimately playing out?

DFF Response)  If you had asked me this question in April 2016, prior to the draft, I would have brushed it off and exclaimed that there is nothing to see: Fitz will be a Jet in 2016. However, with the Jets-Fitzpatrick contract standoff and the team’s recent decision to select Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg in the draft, I am a little less confident that Fitzpatrick starts for GangGreen next year. Recently, long-time Fitz supporter WR Brandon Marshall even said that the team can win without Fitzpatrick. Many draftniks regailed us with tales of the Jets’ in-depth scouting of Hackenberg, which apparently started as early as Christian’s freshman year at PSU. Given the team’s recent failures at drafting a signal caller, one would think that they wouldn’t take a chance on a questionable prospect again (a la Geno Smith out of WVU, and then Bryce Petty out of Baylor). By taking Hackenberg, the Jets are looking to silence the critics who believe the team is habitually unable to scout QB talent. Hackenberg may not be the answer in New York. Whatever happens, though, it seems more and more likely that the Jets are calling Fitzpatrick’s bluff. I don’t believe Fitz-Magic calls plays in New York in 2016.

 

Utter-Fantasy #5)  The newer owners in the NFL are “OK” with a team moving to Las Vegas, while the veteran owners are opposed to a team in “Sin City” because of the distractions and vices that may be prevalent there. Are the veteran owners just being “grumpy old men” about a team in Las Vegas?

DFF Response) There are two types of NFL owners: Old NFL and New NFL. The New NFL ownership groups are looking to capitalize on all possible football-centric revenue streams, including new media, merchandising, etc. These owners are less fixated on the shield/NFL logo, and are more concerned with the entertainment aspect of the sport. Old NFL is looking to capitalize as well, but on its own terms. The history of the NFL shows us that owners have been relatively stingy and tight with the purse strings, often passing up innovation in favor of the comfortable, familiar ways of the past. Old-school owners want to control every part of the NFL’s day to day business and they want to do so on their own terms. A professional team in Las Vegas would be a new occurrence and, as with anything that hasn’t been seen before, there is no way to game plan or prepare for each and every scenario that will follow. Older owners are not keen on being ill-prepared for major events like a new team in a vice-haven like Las Vegas. Thus, I don’t believe the older NFL owners are telling the new owners to get off their lawn; instead, they’re moving cautiously and calculating all of the risks involved.

 

Utter-Fantasy #6) Can a person be in “too many” fantasy football here leagues?

DFF Response) Yes, an owner can be in too many fantasy football leagues, but what constitutes “too many leagues” is really a personal preference. To each his own. There is no one-size-fits-all portfolio of fantasy teams/leagues. My advice would be to look in the mirror and be honest with yourself: can you handle the number of leagues you’re currently in? If so, would you be able to add another league without it siphoning resources and attention from your other leagues and from your life as a whole. Despite the fact that fantasy football is a hobby, it requires a lot of attention and energy. This is magnified in dynasty leagues, which typically run year-round and allow for trading and scheming in the off-season. I like to devote a good amount of time to each team I manage and I get to know my rosters very well. I am always aware of bye weeks, roster limits, roster construction, positions of weakness, and positions of strength. I also endeavor to identify the tendencies of other owners. As you can imagine, there is a lot of work going in to each team and if you have other responsibilities it can become a chore. My advice to each owner is this: take on as many teams as you are comfortable managing without feeling like setting your lineup, reviewing the waiver wire, and evaluating trades has become work. You want this to be fun, so don’t allow fantasy football to become an inconvenience.

 

Utter-Fantasy #7) What are your thoughts on the fantasy sports websites FanDuel and Draft Kings and the legislation trying to shut them down?

DFF Response) Gambling has always been an issue with major sports in America, and that will likely never change. Fantasy football connoisseurs work to differentiate fantasy sports from traditional gambling. The main argument is that fantasy sports requires some amount of skill, whereas placing a wager on which team will win is decidedly different. Regardless of which side of the fence you fall on, the particular legislature in each state will decide – as it often does – what it believes is safe and beneficial to its residents. For me, the main concern with sites like FanDuel and Draft Kings has to be the role it plays on those with gambling addictions and the inability to exercise self-discipline. It is obvious that you can lose money quicker in daily fantasy sports than yearly sports because of the timeframe of each league or contest. With daily fantasy you enter and win or lose at the conclusion of the games in question, whereas with season long fantasy football you do not find out whether you’ve won until the end of the year. For these reasons, a player needs to know his or her limits. If you can’t afford to play and lose with daily fantasy sports leagues, then the season-long route is the way to go.

 

Utter-Fantasy #8)  Would you rather be…… the new NFL Commissioner or a short-lived, but very successful NFL quarterback?

DFF Response) I would personally prefer to the NFL Commissioner. The rationale here is simple: money aside – and both positions are paid well, verily – I have a passion for football that would be best addressed in the league offices. As commissioner you can leave your stamp on the league and further the efforts of innovations. The longevity of getting to act as commissioner is enticing, too, as opposed to playing in the league for a short time. For me, the opportunity to effect regulation and rule making over a longer period of time is more appealing than having been the successful player.

 

Utter-Fantasy #9) PITT RB DeAngelo Williams was a fantasy stud in 2015, filling in for RB LeVeon Bell. Make the case that he is more than just a handcuff, if LeVeon Bell is 100% in 2016.

DFF Response) Stud running backs like LeVeon Bell typically do it all: they rush well, they catch passes, and they play all three downs. The reason many backup running backs are only seen as handcuffs, and thus do not possess stand-alone player value, is because they are not expected to play many snaps and by extension will not put up stunning fantasy numbers. It usually takes a unique situation, such as injury to a top player or garbage time offensive snaps, for a role player or backup to gain any exposure. Without that limited window of opportunity, few backups get the chance to shine. When LeVeon Bell missed multiple games in 2015 due to suspension and injury, DeAngelo Williams was given the opportunity to demonstrate his value. He did just that, amassing 907 rushing yards and scoring 11 rushing touchdowns. He also added 40 catches for 367 yards. Those sure look like RB1 numbers to me. We all expect LeVeon to return to the starting role, but is D-Will still going to be relegated to back-up duties? I think that he has shown enough to warrant more playing time. Pittsburgh and offensive coordinator Todd Haley have not been shy in the past and I believe that DeAngelo Williams will benefit from a larger complement of plays where the goal is to get him the ball, be it via pass or run. NFL teams value versatility, ball control, and vision. Williams has all of that and I believe the Steelers will reward him with more playing time than the average back up RB.

 

Utter-Fantasy #10) It is well-known that WR Wes Welker has had multiple concussion injuries, but the free agent still wants to play in the NFL. After a certain number of these types of injuries, should the league be able to tell a player that they are not allowed to play anymore, even if a competent doctor clears them to play?

DFF Response) The most important aspect of this situation is safety. Competent doctors must evaluate a player and determine if playing football is still an option. Ultimately, it is the league’s responsibility to protect players. As we have seen with other changes to the game, the goal is now to make the NFL safer and that very well may lead to certain instances where teams may keep players out of games for health interests.

 

Next week Utter-Fantasy will have 10 new questions for the Dynasty Football Factory

1st AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 8
1ST AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 7
1st and 10 with DFF Week 6
1st and 10 with DFF Week 5
1st AND 10 WITH DFF WEEK 4
1st and 10 with DFF Week 3
1st and 10 with DFF Week 2
1st and 10 with DFF Week 1